Why this year’s Oscars campaigns spent the ‘most money’ ever


With the Oscars ceremony one week away, voting closes Tuesday — but who will win Best Picture is still anyone’s guess.

“Green Book” has been honored by the Golden Globes (for Best Musical or Comedy) and the Producers Guild of America. “Roma” received nods from the Directors Guild of America, the New York Film Critics’ Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. “Bohemian Rhapsody” won Best Picture at the Globes, in the drama category. And there’s a rumbling, underground rally­ing cry behind “Black Panther.”

As a result, said a film-distribution executive of the Oscar campaigns for Best Picture, “There’s more money flying around this year than I’ve ever seen.”

One of the big spenders has been Netflix, which produced “Roma” and which, in July, hired major campaigner Lisa Taback, who helped pull out wins for “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago,” “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist.” After years of working with Harvey Weinstein and Miramax, she founded her own company, LT-LA — raking in, according to a former staffer, “several hundred thousand a year” for herself.

Now Netflix has brought her in house for what one well-placed insider estimates must be more than that: “It wouldn’t be worth it otherwise.” (Taback had no comment for this story.)

Hers is an uphill battle, because “the Academy doesn’t like the idea of giving Netflix an Oscar,” said one film-industry insider.

“That’s why they spent $25 million on the ‘Roma’ [campaign and promotional budget], when [the movie]only cost $15 million. And Steven Spielberg came out saying Netflix should only be eligible for Emmys, not Oscars . . . Lisa brings Oscar cred with her.”